The Modern Days Sports Fan

Ugh, so I’m going to talk about something that most people probably don’t give a shit about but that bothers me: sports fans and the internet. I’m a pretty big sports fan as has previously been described, especially when it comes to football. I have blogs and sites that I go to every day to read about my teams. I have in the past posted on forums and messageboards. That of course has a bad reputation and there are many bad to literally insane messageboard/forums/blogs out there for any team in any sport you can think of. But there’s also some good ones where you can have a back and forth with intelligent fans of your team.

And unlike pre-internet days, it really can help you vent your disappointments and celebrate your victories with people of like mind. As I pointed out in my college football orphan post, I’m a fan of a team(UGA) who doesn’t have that many friends who are also fans of that team, so many time a blog or messageboard is the only chance I have to vent or talk about said team. One that I’ve been going to for years is “Get The Picture” http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/, one of the few sites I have in my links. It’s run by a guy that I used to post with on an old now defunct UGA forum years ago.

Being a blog and not a messageboard, and being run by a levelheaded guy, it doesn’t get nearly as crazy as a lot of places do after a loss or whatever. But reading the comments section on there still gives you a microcosm of the world of internet sports fandom at large. Which is to say that it reminds me a lot of partisan politics. You have people that live and die by their belief in one issue or another and anyone that disagrees is not a “real fan” or a bad person or whatever.

To bring it back to UGA, blind homers and people that think everything is great and you should never question any coach or player are called “Disney Dawgs”. I’m not sure what the name is for those that bring up negative things, but inevitably they are accused of trying to stir things up, not being “real fans”, or only showing up after losses to bitch, among other things. Now that’s not to said that the people who are negative don’t make fun of the “Disney Dawgs” either, they certainly do.

Then you have people like me, those in the middle, those that don’t think that the UGA coaching staff can do no wrong but also don’t expect them to be fired tomorrow morning. The problem is that like with politics, it’s getting more and more impossible to stay in the middle anymore. If you say something that one side disagrees with, you’re vilified by that side, you’re not a “real fan” etc.

I find it discouraging both that being a sports fan can be like following politics and that even though the internet can bring people together with similar ideas from all over, it also lacks the civility that you would use when dealing with someone with an opposite view in real life. I’m sure there’s probably political messageboards and blogs out and there I truly shudder to think how bad they must get.

Just take a fucking step back people: whether it’s sports, politics, music, art…whatever, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them a bad person, fan, someone with bad taste, etc. Stop tying your own personal opinions into your self worth so much that you actually get angry because someone dares not share the same opinion as you all the time. I’m certainly as guilty as any at getting into arguments with people over dumb shit, but just try to have some civility even if it is just the internet.

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Weekend Ramblings

Was going to post more this weekend but 2 of my 3 sports teams pissed the bed so I wasn’t much in a writing mood. I used to be a huge Braves fan when I was younger but find baseball more and more boring as the years go by, but I decided I’d watch the one game wild card playoff(a horrible idea) they were playing in Friday night. Of course them being the Braves they lost. Not a huge deal since I’m not as big a fan these days but still annoyed that I invested the time and attention into something so fruitless and ultimately discouraging.

Then I watched college football all day Saturday leading up to the top 10 matchup at 7 of my team(UGA) and South Carolina in Columbia. As it turned out, all the excitement and anticipation I had all week and all Saturday were basically taken away in about 20 minutes. The entire UGA team and coaching staff basically took a huge dump on the field. They were down 21 points before the first quarter was over, and really didn’t even put up a fight the rest of the game. An utter embarrassment and I’ll spare the readers on here much more talk of it. I’ve been venting on a UGA blog last night and today about it so I’m luckily mostly vented out.

I was afraid after the events of the last two days that my third major team that I root for, the Atlanta Falcons, would wet the bed too today but luckily they managed to win and are 5-0 on the season. They didn’t win handily so I had to sweat this one out too and I’m not sure what I would have done had they lost as well. Yes, I take sports too seriously, but for me the highs are higher than the lows are low, though last night’s UGA atrocity tested that theory greatly.

So outside of all that I basically did nothing productive this weekend, I’ve got tons of reading and work and errands to do this week but hey, that’s life. I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing on here but it’s for some reason just not as easy as it was when I first started. I guess I had such a huge backlog of shit to get off my mind at first that it all came out in a flood. I still enjoy writing on here, I just haven’t had as many topic ideas lately and unless something interesting is going on, I don’t want to do the Rambling thing too often and bore people with how mundane my life really is. Being busy doesn’t help either.

Anyway, hope everyone has had a good weekend and I’ll post something tomorrow. Thanks for reading as always.

Somewhat back from a non intended hiatus

So obviously I’ve not been writing or posting much at all for the last week or two. I’ve not been sleeping well, not feeling well a lot of days, and just let myself get kind of overwhelmed with life in general. I guess I’ve been a bit depressed too, though I don’t normally get that way; anxiety is usually my problem.

I don’t really have any reason to be depressed: life is going pretty well right now…I think it’s just a combo of a lot of little things building up. Being busy with work/work and schoolwork, having shit go wrong with my house, definitely the not sleeping well part, and it being rainy and shitty outside a lot. I just haven’t had a lot to say.

The only times I’ve really been in a mood to write something have been the weekends when I’ve been consumed by football. I’m sure anyone that still bothers to check this blog loves my thoughts on Georgia football games, but…it is MY blog after all. I honestly think if I could have done things differently in life I might have wanted to be a sports writer as dumb as that sounds. That’s why I enjoy my Saturday game reports.

But anyway, I’m going to start writing again as I think I have a few things I’d like to write about. Probably won’t be anything earthshaking or personal but I’ve got some books and lists and stuff like that that I’d like to write about. So I’ll try to start out by posting once or twice a day most days, and maybe I can get back up to putting out enough to content to make this site working checking out again at some point.

UGA/UT game final thoughts

Well, that was a wild game. Not very happy with how the defense played and they better get things tightened up during the week. Next week is against South Carolina for possibly the SEC east title. I’m not sure that the Cocks have the passing game that UT has but they have Marcus Lattimore…which is scary enough.

So, on to the game: as previously mentioned it looked like the Dawgs might win this one going away in the first quarter until stupid mistakes and turnovers let the Vols not only get back into the game, but take the lead until a tying field goal right at the end of the half by UGA.

One the positive side, Keith Marshall has officially entered my man crush zone along with Todd Gurley…see above picture. Most teams are happy to have a running back get over 100 yards: Marshall ended up with 164 and 2 TDs and Gurley had 130 and 3 TDs. I honestly haven’t been this excited about one, let alone two, freshmen since maybe AJ Green’s freshman year or Matt Stafford’s, and honestly these guys have been more impressive than either of those eventual first round NFL picks so far. It’s amazing that these guys were playing high school football this time last year and now they are playing in the toughest conference in college football, and playing well. The really cool thing is that they were friends in high school and decided to come to UGA together so while there’s probably healthy competition, you can tell they both pull for each other.

Anyway, enough gushing about my man crushes. As for the rest of the offense, if you take out a few bad plays that led to turnovers, they were basically unstoppable. UT’s defense had no answer for the running backs or the passing game. As much as I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Aaron Murray over the years, I really think he’s improved a lot this year. His decision making seems to be a lot better even though I still reeeeeally wish he would hold onto the ball when he’s about to get sacked. A sack fumble inside Georgia’s 20 led to some of the gift points that UT got today to get back into the game. If you don’t watch much UGA football, this happens more than most fans would like with Murray. He had a pick six also but overall he played pretty damn well and the offense is putting up 40+ points a game so far this year.

As far as the receivers go, I really can’t remember a lot of big plays by them outside of two nice TD catches by Micheal Bennett, who is close to man crush eligibility too. It’s not that the receivers played badly, but it seemed like every other drive one of the RBs was ripping off a 50+ yard TD run so Murray wasn’t getting a chance to throw it around as much as usual. TE Lynch had another nice run after catch.

As much as I’m hot and cold on Mark Richt and the OC Mike Bobo, I can’t complain about how many points the offense is putting up this year. My only quibble would be their tendency to go conservative in the 4th quarter with a lead. While that’s smart when the defense is playing well, with the way the offense was humming like a well oiled machine and the defense was…well..let’s be nice and say not doing the same, the run 2 times into a stacked line and then have an incomplete pass on 3rd and long and then punt might not be the best strategy.

I was reading on some Vol message board earlier where some posters were pointing to their defense shutting UGA down in the 4th quarter. To that I would say that anyone that has watched any video of Georgia in the last five years plus, could tell you that Richt/Bobo were going to go conservative with a lead in the 4th quarter and try to run clock. It doesn’t take a genius Defensive Coordinator to figure this out and stack the line knowing that UGA isn’t gonna come out slinging it around. A win’s a win, and yes, if Richt/Bobo had let Murray keep slinging it around or taken a few more chances then a mistake could have had dire consequences, but on the other hand us fans might not have had to sweat out a 7 point lead where the defense finally came up with some turnovers to stop UT.

As far as the defense goes, I don’t really know what to say. This was the week that it got back it’s best safety and one of the better LBs from suspension, so everyone figured it would come out firing on all cylinders, but that was not at all the case. Granted 7 of UTs points came off the pick six and at least 14 points came from very short fields due to fumbles by Murray and Marshall, but there were also UT receivers running free. Patterson had a sure TD pass clank off his hands and Bray missed some other open guys. The scarier part to me was that UT was actually able to run reasonably well: that was supposed to be the Vols’ main weakness. And a reverse run by Patterson for a long TD looked like the Keystone Cops were trying to tackle him.

On the positve side, Swann had a really nice interception in the first half, a one handed grab, and the defense was finally able to turn over Bray on his last three drives to win the game, but damn, they need to play better than that to beat SC next week. I wonder if perhaps having Rambo and Ogletree back might have been part of the problem, they were bound to be a bit rusty with this being their first game. And unfortunately my defensive mancrush Jarvis Jones didn’t have his name called a lot today and there was basically no pressure on Bray until the last few drives that sealed the game in the 4th quarter. I’ll give a lot of credit to whoever UT’s OC is, he really took Jones out of the game and their offensive line played well.

Special teams almost don’t deserve to be talked about. Somehow freshman kicker Marshall Morgan has no problem with a 50 yard field goal but has a habit of missing extra points. There were basically no returns today and Gurley for some reason stepped out of bounds at the one fielding one kickoff…I believe that resulted in one of the short fields that UT scored on.

All things considered, this was the type of gut check game that past UGA teams would have lost, so I’m happy with the win. Hopefully the coaches will kick some ass in practice this week and the defense and special teams will play a lot better next week in Columbia. I’m already nervous and excited about playing the Shamecocks.

Saturday ramblings

Ugh. Well I thought I was going to get to enjoy seeing Georgia beat the crap out of Tennessee until the Dawgs decided to let the Vowels back in the game by making dumb mistake after dumb mistake. So it went from 27-10 Dawgs at the end of the first quarter to 30-30 at halftime. There better be some yelling going on in that locker room. I hate the Vols, from their horrible hunter/convict orange to them playing Rocky Top every time they gain two yards. They actually have a coonhound as their mascot ffs. Hopefully the Dawgs put them away in the second half.

Monday Ramblings

Well, it’s officially chilly in my house today, and I love it. I’ve got on my fleece pants, a long sleeve shirt, and warm socks. Of course in a couple of months I’ll be bitching about how it’s freezing all the time but for now I’m enjoying it starting to feel like fall.

Speaking of cold weather, another problem with living in the middle of nowhere is that my heating system, stove, and oven run off of propane. During the summer I basically go through next to none of it, but once winter comes around having the heat on burns through the stuff a lot faster. I have an underground tank that does have a gauge on it that tells you how much is left percentage wise, but I rarely get around to checking it. So generally when I notice it is empty is when I wake up and it’s 45 degrees in my house. And for some reason the propane company isn’t a fan of doing same day deliveries: they will, but they charge you like 75 bucks extra.

There’s been several times where it’s gone dry over a weekend or I’ve just decided to wait until the next day so as to not pay the extra fee. I can tell you with experience that a normal fireplace, even with a roaring fire, does NOT put out much heat. I’ve had to pull out my camping gear and sleep in the sleeping bag a couple of times. That’s another odd thing I’ve noticed: when it’s 45 or 50 degrees outside it will seem a bit chilly but not that bad, but when it’s the same temperature in your house you start expecting icicles to form on things.

It was a good sports weekend, Falcons beat the Chargers pretty badly yesterday, the New Orleans Aints lost again(sorry but they have some of the biggest asshole fans on the internet), UGA killed Vandy, and Georgia Tech choked away a game to Miami. Unfortunately Notre Dame beat an overrated Michigan team so they will now be in the top 10 I’m sure, and I was hoping Clemson would beat FSU so we didn’t have to hear how Florida State is finally back again.

The new WoW(World of Warcraft) expansion is coming out tomorrow and I’m sad and embarrassed to admit that I’m a bit excited about that. I’m probably going to buy it digitally so I don’t have to drive to a Walmart at midnight, though god knows how long the download will take. Yes, I’m a dork and proud to admit it.

Anyway, I’m off to find some dinner. Hope everyone is having a good night.

UGA/Vandy postgame thoughts

Well, I wasn’t so much worried about Georgia losing this game as much as I was expecting it to be a close game, but it certainly didn’t turn out that way: 48-3 was the final score. Granted Vanderbilt has always been somewhat the little sister of the SEC that they keep around to boost academic ratings, but Vandy had actually played South Carolina close earlier in the year, and there was some bad blood left over from last years’s game. Vandy has a second year coach that has a bit of an attitude in terms of making his team tougher, and after both sides accused each other of cheap shots in last year’s game that Georgia only won by 3 in the final minutes, Vandy’s head coach and Georgia’s defensive coordinator had to be separated at the end of the game.

With the bad blood on both sides from last year, I figured this might be a close game, but UGA just came out and methodically dissected Vandy. For only giving up three points, the Defense didn’t really have that many big plays, other than a couple of sacks by my man Jarvis Jones; they just held Vandy in check while the Offense pretty much did whatever they wanted. Aaron Murray hit his first 12 passes in a row and the two freshman running backs ran wild. I renew my mancrush on Todd Gurley, but Keith Marshall isn’t too far from making it onto that list, he continued to show flashes. Gurley just looks like a man amongst boys and almost never has a negative play. Gurley went over 100 again and both him and Marshall ended up with a pair of TDs apiece. As a UGA fan, it’s pretty freaking exciting to know that these two are just freshman and will presumably only get better.

Kudos to the offensive line as well, they made some nice holes for the running backs and I think Murray was only touched once or twice at the most. Receiver wise: Marlon Brown had a nice game, Tavarres King caught a TD and had a few other nice catches, and Murray continued to get pretty much everyone involved. He even managed to hit Gurley in stride on a pass out of the backfield for a change for a nice gain.

For the second week in a row the fourth quarter was basically just all backups, though Grantham seemed to keep a lot of the first team defenders in a bit longer, maybe to make a point after last year’s fracas.

I’m not really sure there’s a whole lot to take from this game other than that the offense looks great against mediocre to bad defenses and that instead of playing down to the competition and letting an amped team stick around like last year, this time the Dawgs just stepped on Vandy’s throats early and ended any hope that they had. I liked the killer instinct tonight and I hope it doesn’t disappear against the better teams coming up.

Tennessee is coming to Athens next week, and while they are a bit one dimensional on offense and Georgia SHOULD beat them, I’m old enough to remember the Vowels beating up on UGA on a regular basis in the past and then continuing to steal a few games they shouldn’t from the Dawgs over the last 10 years or so. I’ll never take a game against Tennessee or Florida for granted in the slightest.